Early American Studies

Early American Studies

Here is a change

John Majewski, History, at ext. 2837 or e-mail majewski@history.ucsb.edu 
Ann Plane, History

Early American Research Focus Group
Application for Funding in 2003-04
I. Research Interests of the Group

The Early American Research Focus Group fosters discussion of American culture and society from the colonial period through the 1850s. Our goal is promote a sense of community among the diverse group of early American scholars in the Santa Barbara area. Over the past six years, we have organized major conferences, sponsored speakers from around the country, and discussed our own research in more informal lunches and gatherings. This past year alone we sponsored two major public lectures, one by
Professor Ruth Bloch of UCLA and the other by Professor Alan Taylor of UC Davis.

II. Core Membership and Conveners
Below is a list of core members associated with our research focus group, but it should be kept in mind that we often invite graduate students and members of the wider community to our events. Weare particularly strong in English and in History, but draw upon a core membership from four different departments:

Catherine Albanese (Religious Studies) Patricia Cohen (History)
Jonathan Glickstein (History) Richard Helgerson (English) Stephanie LeMenager (English)
John Majewski (History)
Ann Plane (History)
Bruce Robertson (Art History)
John Majewski and Ann Plane will serve as co-conveners of the group for 2003-04.

III. Planned Themes and Actives in 2003-04. Although we have not yet planned any specific events for next year, we have decided to focus on a specific theme: the relationship between early American history and public history. We want to explore how monuments, museums, commemorations, and various forms of popular culture (novels, television, and film) have interpreted the meaning of early American history. How do various public history forums present marginalized groups in early American history (slaves, Indians, women)? How do different interpretations of early American history inform competing visions of American identity today? Why is the public and media now fixated on Founding Fathers such John Adams and Benjamin Franklin? In asking these questions, we hope that our research focus group brings together a broad interdisciplinary audience of scholars and public history professionals. Such an approach will also leverage the resources and students of the history department’s thriving public history program.

IV. Speakers in 2002-03. In addition to sponsoring several lunch and informal gatherings where members of our group could present their own work, we sponsored several outside speakers. A mixed group of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty attended these presentations.

1. Professor Ruth Bloch
Affiliation: UCLA (History)
Title: “Reconsidering Separate Spheres” Time: 3:30 pm
Date: April 14, 2003
Location: HSSB 4020

2. Professor Alan Taylor Affiliation: UC Davis (History)
Title: “The Science of Empire: Thomas Jefferson and the Pacific”
Time: 3:30 pm
Date: April 30, 2003
Location: McCune Conference Room

3. Professor Christopher Looby
Affiliation: UCLA (English)
Title: “The Print Public Sphere and Early American Fiction” Time: 4pm
Date: May 26, 2003
Location: South Hall 2635